Indian chutneys – A quick dip into a bowl of colourful “dips”
Chutneys…a vibrant n alluring medley of dips…something that truly exemplifies the beauty and diversity of our Indian cuisine. Be it north or south, east or west, Indian cooking households are no new to this rather mouthwatering name. Be it a morning breakfast, or a scrumptious lunch, or savoring evening snacks with hot tea, or a light dinner, chutney or chammandhi is more or less an habitual side dish on all dining tables on all or any one of these occasions…almost tagging itself as an inevitable part of our Indian cuisine.
Following the basic trait of our Indian cuisine, these chutneys too come in all sorts of shades depending upon the ingredients used and in various textures as well depending upon the cooking process followed. As for the tastes, it too differs accdg to the ingredients and cud be hot n spicy, sweet, sour and even tangy thereby leaving all your taste buds hankering for more…. A remarkable facet of our Indian cooking, so to say!!!
Chutneys popularly nicknamed as “Thottu kootan” in Kerala cuisine, can be made in a curry base for which you need to cook the ingredients and then blend it; or you can also blend the fresh ingredients directly and top it with oil or seasoning. In either case, it’s usually either the coconut or the onions used to get that creamy mixture base.
Recollecting a point from one of my previous blog article on my favourite onion chutney recipe, I believe chutneys often educe a nostalgic touch in the making process as it’s often considered the first lessons of cooking by Malayalee cooking novices…apart from tea/coffee…. And being a true Keralite, even I was taught the first chapter of cooking in the form of “Thenga Chammandhi” of all the Indian recipes at hand…which thankfully, wasn’t adjudged as a total disaster…. :)
And during this transition phase from being a cooking novice to an almost above average cook (being very modest), I learnt to make various types of Indian recipes making me quite obsessed to Indian cooking, especially naadan kind. And in due course, I have quite mastered myself in making different types of chutneys too…or at least I hope so…. (being modest again) ;-)
Enlisting below a few among them; falling under South Indian chutney recipes.
From clockwise direction: Coriander chutney, Manga chammandhi, Small onion chutney topped with coconut oil, A trio chutney with onions, tomato and coriander and finally the Dates chutney
- Coconut chutney – A highly popular accompaniment with Dosas, Ghee roast or Idlis, one of the most easiest to make. You can even change the colour by adding green chillies or chilly powder accdgly.
- Onion chutney – Another easiest and highly preferred one which goes well with Dosas, Idlis and Kappa. Red onions can be substituted with small onions too. Can be blended either fresh or sautéed as desired. Check out my favourite version.
- Thenga chuttha chammandhi – An extremely popular one made using sautéed coconut blend with sautéed dry chillies and tamarind. You can also add fresh coriander leaves to add flavour. You can even store it for a couple of days…. But just make sure that you don’t add water while grinding.
- Mango chutney – A common side dish with hot rice or hot rice gruel making your dinner light and appetizing. Try blending a ripening one (not fully ripened) with a few dry red chillies, a piece of ginger and a few small onions finally topped with pure coconut oil. Am sure you’d be left speechless. And not too sure if it’d make your dinner light or heavy…. :)
- Tamarind chutney – A dip popularly used in North India while serving samosas or bhel or chat. Another one that’s absolutely irresistible!!!
- Tomato chutney – A tangy one to go with a couple of hot dosas or steaming idlis. No words to express the tanginess!!!
- Dates chutney – Another one extensively used as a side dish for hot n spicy Biriyanis…. Also used as a dip for samosas, bhel pooris, chat etc.
- Coriander chutney – Something refreshingly green and easy to make; to go with a couple of dosas, idlis and even as a spread on rotis and sandwiches. A very popular one indeed!!!
- Mint chutney – How about waking up to the mint flavor with a generous dollop of mint chutney spread ready in your sandwiches. Absolutely yummy, isn’t it!!!
- Small green chillies (Kanthari) chutney – The only fitting or rather the ultimate side dish paired with a couple of cooked yummy kappas (tapiocas) to make your day. Absolutely divine!!!
- A combo of onion, tomato and coriander chutney – And finally, saving the best to last… A personal favourite of mine, this combo of a few of the above makes it all the more worthwhile. Check out the recipe here.
And so, the never ending list cud go on and on and on…. For more of these and the recipe guidelines, you can surf here…includes those too which ain’t there in the list above. For any of the above recipe details, pls do feel free to ask me too and I shall try my best to help you out, hopefully with an authentic one…. :)
And yes, these are just pure guidelines, no hard-fastened rules to follow…. It’s something even a beginner could work on with some slender changes, and finally churn out something that’d leave you all sizzling too.
So, go rite ahead and start nippin’ with a dippin’ into the bowl of dip-ins. :-)
Happy dippin’…oops…happy cooking or shud I say happy grinding!!! :-)
Labels: Indian Cooking